THE GREYHOUND racing industry’s commitment to the welfare of its dogs was called into question by a national Greyhound rescue charity after the discovery in Warrington of an extreme cruelty case involving an ex-racing Greyhound.
An emaciated and dying dog was discovered just before Christmas dumped in a garden. The dog, which was so weak it is not believed she could have walked there, was found dying by a mother and child returning from school. Veterinary surgeon John Cartwright was called to examine the dog and stated, ‘She was not far from death when brought to the surgery.
Severely malnourished and dehydrated she could not have recovered’. The dog, a seven year old registered Greyhound bitch was put to sleep to prevent further suffering. ‘This was the euthanasia of a disgracefully emaciated greyhound. There was no owner, but certainly a long suffering case of cruelty’, said Mr Cartwright.
Julie Morgan of the Manchester-based charity Sheya Greyhound & Lurcher Rescue is demanding that the racing industry invokes Rule 18, which states that the National Greyhound Racing Club will hold the last registered owner responsible for the welfare of a Greyhound. Failure to make arrangements for the retirement of their dogs will result in the NGRC levying a fine and preventing the owner from registering further dogs from racing on NGRC tracks.
Ms Morgan was made aware of the dog when a local kennels contacted her to see if Sheya Rescue could help.
Ms Morgan told OUR DOGS: ‘Independent rescues around the country are constantly inundated with Greyhounds many of whom have suffered cruelty or neglect even if not as severe as this dog. In seven years of rescue I have not known one owner to be disciplined under this ruling, even where the neglect has been brought to the attention of the racing authorities. I firmly believe that in this case the most severe of penalties should be brought against the owner / trainer’.
Jaye Griffiths, actress from the police TV drama series The Bill, who is a patron of Sheya Greyhound Rescue and owner of rescued Greyhound Gracie said, ‘This is a shocking case and one of the worst cases of cruelty I have been asked to look at since becoming patron of Sheya. As an owner of a Greyhound I can say that they are gentle creatures who deserve a life of dignity. It is vital that the racing authorities make a stand on this and show that the industry will not tolerate cruelty and neglect. Owners and trainers must be accountable for the welfare of these dogs’.
Ms Griffiths became involved in the rescue after taking in Gracie. As she became more aware of the number of unwanted and neglected Greyhounds throughout the country, she volunteered to become the Patron of Sheya. Her role involves active involvement in the rescue through fundraising, attending shows and caring for the dogs.
Sheya Greyhound & Lurcher Rescue are in full possession of the details of the dog’s last registered owner and trainer and are keen to talk to the appropriate authorities.
‘Due to lack of action in previous cases the committee agreed that details of this case would be released in the hope that the authorities would be forced by the public outcry to take action,’ said Julie Morgan.‘The average person who watches racing will never know the number of dogs abandoned each year, and it is hoped by highlighting cases such as this it is hoped that the industry will begin to clean up their act.’
Sheya Greyhound and Lurcher rescue (Reg. Charity No. 1093500) may be contacted at: http://www.sheyagreyhoundrescue.com